Thomas Tuchel angry as referee chooses not to punish ‘kid’s mistake’ by Gabriel

The Arsenal defender picked up a David Raya goal kick against Bayern Munich, who were not awarded a penalty.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel fumed at the referee’s explanation for allowing Arsenal to escape punishment for a “kid’s mistake” during an exhilarating Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Bayern felt they were denied a clear penalty in the 66th minute of the breathless 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium after Gunners defender Gabriel inexplicably picked up the ball following a David Raya goal kick.

Swedish match official Glenn Nyberg reportedly opted against awarding a spot-kick due the bizarre nature of the incident, with his on-field explanation branded “horrible” by former Chelsea manager Tuchel.

Six-time European champions Bayern led 2-1 at that stage before Gunners substitute Leandro Trossard levelled the tie ahead of next week’s return match in Munich.

“The referee made a huge mistake,” said Tuchel.

“I know it was a crazy situation. They put the ball down, he whistles and the defender takes the ball with his hands.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a ‘kid’s mistake’ and he won’t give a penalty for that in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It’s a horrible, horrible explanation. Kid’s mistake, adult’s mistake, whatever – we feel angry because it was a huge decision against us.”

Bukayo Saka fired the hosts into a 12th-minute lead on a raucous north London evening.

But former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry equalised before a penalty from ex-Tottenham striker Harry Kane turned the match in the Bavarians’ favour.

Trossard equalised and a helter-skelter contest threatened to have a late twist as Bayern substitute Kingsley Coman hit a post in the 90th minute before Saka was denied an added-time spot-kick after tumbling under a challenge from visiting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who offered no opinion on the Saka incident, rued a big chance missed by Ben White at 1-0 and defensive errors but remained upbeat about progressing to the last four.

“We started the game really well, we were dominant, we played in the opponents’ half,” he said.

“We generated some momentum, scored the first goal and then it’s a critical moment of the match, Ben White is in front of Neuer to make it 2-0 and we have to put the ball in the back of the net and it becomes a different moment.

“And then in Champions League you cannot give anything to the opponent.

“We have given them two goals today and when you have this situation they are going to punish you.

“In a certain way we are alive and we’ve done what we had to do when the game became very difficult for us but as well as understanding that, we have to step up the level in certain aspects of the game.

“I sense the belief there, we are going to go to Munich and have the chance to win it and we’re going to be better in certain areas and that’s how we are going to prepare it.”

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